This is great news! As I wrote in a past blog, the PWD is an active, medium-sized dog covered in soft curls or waves that many allergy sufferers have been able to live with very successfully. As a breed, the PWD boasts one of the most dedicated, pro-active parent clubs in the country. The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America has spearheaded many health studies over the years, and takes its responsibilities as a guardian of its chosen breed very seriously. Member-breeders who wish to advertise in the award-winning club magazine must first submit a list of health clearances for the dog(s) they wish to advertise. No clearances, no ads.
The country is full of dedicated PWD breeders who participate with their dogs in a host of AKC disciplines: from conformation and obedience to agility, water trials, and pet therapy. Breeders are committed to producing well-rounded, versatile dogs that retain the instincts of their ancestors and are much more than generic show dogs.
To succumb to the unfortunate trend of “designer dogs” and purchase a labradoodle would send an unfortunate message to the American public, and validate a breeding practice that is deplored by serious fanciers, shelter volunteers, and veterinarians alike. To encourage the deliberate creation of more Mixed Breeds – that are given silly names and sold at outrageous prices – at a time when rescue groups have deserving, housetrained purebreds available for adoption and shelters across the country likewise have health-checked, loving mixed breeds to place in good homes is unconscionable.
The Obamas are smart, well-read, and reasonable people; I applaud them for doing their research and favoring a breed that, in terms of size, activity level, and grooming, meets their specific needs. The Portuguese Water Dog is an absolute charmer and I wish them many years of happy ownership with a new canine addition.